A Fight over Privileged Positions

Congress orders Bush aides to testify; the President says they won't. It's a very familiar situation

You would think that after 218 years, 43 Presidents and countless partisan battles, the Federal Government would have worked out the rules for when Congress gets to question White House officials. But as President George W. Bush and the House and Senate Judiciary committees have made clear, you would be wrong.

In the bickering over who ordered the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and why, Congress has demanded sworn testimony from presidential aides like former White House counsel Harriet Miers. On July 9, Bush refused to comply, invoking Executive privilege: the legal principle that what's said in the White House stays...

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